Ugandan Trucks, Buses Denied Entry into Rwanda

2403 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
According to Mujuni, Rwanda security officials manning the border have revealed on condition of anonymity that they are working on orders of their top officials.

Tension is high at the Uganda-Rwanda border following a decision by the Rwandan authorities to block any trucks from entering or exiting the country. It all started on Wednesday evening when Rwanda's Security at Katuna border barred trucks from crossing to either side of the border.

This morning, security officials also barred buses carrying passengers from crossing to either side leaving several traders, passengers and truck driver stranded at Katuna border. Abdul Lukwago, one of the concerned truck drivers, says that he was driving to Kampala from Kigali only to reach at Gatuna border on Wednesday evening and was told to stop.

On asking, he was told by security that no trucks are allowed to cross to either Rwanda or Uganda.  Lukwago says that none of the Rwanda security officials have given them any reason for the closure of the border.
//Cue in: "nva side ze…
Cue out: …wano emotoka."//.

Franco Korinako, the Chairperson Katuna Border Business Community Association,says that last week Rwanda security officials without reasons barred Ugandan traders involved  in the export of Bananas, flour, cement and soda from entering the country.
Korinako also says that Rwanda Security officials also last week arrested Alex Karemeera a prominent money changer at Katuna border while at Gatuna and is being detained in Kigali under unclear reasons. 

Korinako says that the Karemera's relatives have been denied access to talk to him where he is being detained in Kigali.

//Cue in: " embeera ya katuna…
Cue out: …bagambe nawe."//.

Korinako says that they are worried that this could result into a war between the two countries. Korinako wants both the governments of Uganda and Rwanda to come out and explain what is happening.

//Cue in: "hatiya twa tukyashobeirwe…
Cue out: …tubone kutebekana."//

Peter Rukundo, another truck driver says he arrived at the border on Wednesday around 10:00 pm carrying Cement from Uganda to Rwanda but was stopped from crossing without any reason.

//Cue in: " embera eliwo tempisiza…
Cue out: …obade awo."//

Geoffrey Mujuni, a clearing agent at Katuna border says that both governments should come out and explain reasons why they have been barred from both countries.

According to Mujuni, Rwanda security officials manning the border have revealed on condition of anonymity that they are working on orders of their top officials. 

//Cue in: "the situation is …
Cue out: …the journey."//

//Cue in: "okuva sawa kuminabiri…
Cue out: …bazireke zigende."//

An official from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) at Katuna border says that they are yet to receive official communication from Rwandan government on why the trucks are being blocked.

Samuel Serwanga Bunkedeko, the Chairperson of Clearing Agent at Katuna border says that they have also received communication that it is the same situation at Chanika border in Kisoro and Mirama in Ntungamo.

Serwanga also explained that the problem started some weeks back when Uganda's HIMA cement was blocked from crossing over unclear reasons.  Serwanga says that none of the Rwandan nationals is being allowed to cross to Uganda. 

// Cue in:" we are clearing…
Cue out: …Rwandan government."//
//Cue in: " okusooka ebintu bino…
Cue out: …mumbeera yemu."//

URN was turned away from accessing Gatuna border by Rwanda security officials to get a comment from Rwanda Revenue Authority.  By 1:30 pm, hundreds of trucks were still parked at both sides of the borders.


About the author

Samuel Amanya
Samuel Amanya is the Kigezi Region URN bureau chief. Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rukungiri districts fall under his docket. Samuel Amanya has been a Uganda Radio Network reporter since August 2016. Before becoming a URN staff reporter, Amanya had written for the network for several years as a freelancer.

Amanya was also a Voice of Kigezi reporter from 2011 to 2016.

A journalism graduate from African College of Commerce Kabale, Amanya values his independence. Amanya says URN is a home for his talent because it lets him explore his journalistic interests without limits.

Amanya is fascinated by the crime beat and some of his best stories have come out of that interest. Amanya says he aims to be all round beat reporter.